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Eunuch killed in court

New Delhi, April 28: Attempts by eunuchs running a major prostitution racket in the capital to upstage each other led to a shootout in a first-floor corridor of Tis Hazari court today. One transvestite was shot dead, exposing the gaps in the security cover provided to courts in New Delhi.

The Delhi Bar Association secretary, Jatan Singh, said lawyers will go on strike tomorrow to protest the security lapse. The association said security arrangements had been discussed just two days ago with additional district judge AP Sharma presiding over the meeting.

Neelam, a 38-year-old eunuch, died after receiving bullets to her head, neck, stomach and back, Constable Nand Kishore, who was providing security to her, has been admitted to hospital after being shot in his left thigh.

Police said the shootout was a result of rivalry between two gangs allegedly running a big prostitution racket in Delhi, supplying eunuchs to their customers.

They said Neelam had gone to room no. 119 on the first floor of the court to hear the bail application of two people accused of shooting dead her accomplice, Zarina, in October last year.

Due to threats from the rival gang led by Geeta, Neelam had been provided security; constable Nand Kishore was assigned to guard her just two hours before today’s shootout.

As Neelam emerged from the courtroom around 2.45 pm and was about to take the lift, her attacker burst forth and fired five rounds. Neelam and Nand Kishore were rushed to hospital but the former was declared dead on arrival. The assailant, Mani Gopal, was overpowered by an alert head constable Ajit Singh who seized his pistol and six live rounds.

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